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Recipe for disaster if Indo-Pak rift is not resolved: Ranil

May 8 (ST) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said this week that both India and Pakistan must resolve their differences if India is to ensure double-digit growth and become a powerful nation, and Pakistan was not to collapse due to unsustainable defence expenditure. He said that both countries were nuclear powers and the security of the entire region would soon face a “youth bulge” with increased populations, and more..

Baby pronounced dead found to be alive

May 8 (DM) A baby, born during the nurses’ strike had been pronounced dead. However, it had been resuscitated after six days at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital. Chandani Jayatilake of Anamaduwa had given birth prematurely, and her baby was pronounced dead by the hospital authorities. The parents were notified accordingly -- and had even held the seventh day almsgiving on May 6. The baby’s mother said, more..

'Quantum jump in remittances revenue'

May 8 (DN) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera predicted that considering the current growth trends, Sri Lanka migrant worker remittances will surge over US $12 billion by 2020, an increase of US $5 billion from the current US $7 billion. Highlighting the importance of migrant worker remittances to the Sri Lankan economy, he pointed out that remittances reached US $7 billion in 2013 when tourism brought in US $1.5 billion and more..

Ruling party MPs summoned to Temple Trees

May 8 (NS) The Nation learns that the UPFA MPs are to meet President Rajapaksa tomorrow night for a special discussion at the Temple Trees. SLFP sources revealed that the invitations have already been sent to all the members of the parliament including the ministers who represent the Freedom Alliance regime. Sources refused to divulge the cause behind the sudden meeting of the President Rajapaksa with the MPs. more..

Bill to punish errant monks not ready; Prelates silent – Govt.

May 8 (Island) The government yesterday said in Parliament that some errant monks had brought the entire Sangha community into disrepute. Responding to a question raised by Matara District UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana, Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs M.K.D.S. Gunawardena said that neither the Sangha Sabha nor Maha Nayake Theras had powers to expel the monks responsible for misconduct. more..

No faith motion against govt. on May 20, 21

May 8 (Island) Party leaders who met at the Parliament complex yesterday agreed on May 20 and 21 for the debate on UNP’s no confidence motion against the govt on failure to prevent the country becoming the hub of international narcotic trade among other things. The motion signed by 31 UNP MPs was handed over to Secretary General of Parliament by Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga on Feb 21, more..

No plan to block social websites: MR tweets

May 8 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa says there is no move to ban Facebook or Twitter in Sri Lanka adding that if he made such a move it will be faced with resistance from his own family. Responding to a question raised during a Twitter interaction today, the President noted that he himself has a huge following on Facebook and Twitter and so there is no way he can place restrictions on such social media websites. more..

From elephant-thieves to tractable-judges

May 8 (CT) Imagine a Sri Lanka without the 18th Amendment. There would have been repression and corruption, illegality and impunity, but not too far in excess of the normal Lankan template. The final term of President Rajapaksa would be drawing to a close. Any attempt to perpetuate Familial Rule by nominating Basil, Chamal or Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the UPFA presidential candidate would have been robustly resisted by the SLFP. Since the 17th Amendment would still exist, more..

Archive of #WCY2014MR: A youth focussed Twitter Q&A with the President

May 8 (GV) On the occasion of the World Conference on Youth 2014, President Rajapaksa announced over social media he would have, and not for the first time, a Twitter Q&A today at 11.30am. We archived the entire conversation, conducted under the hashtag #WCY2014MR. At the end of the session, a data visualisation of the tweets posted to the President looked like this. Image shows that while many opted to ask President a question by addressing him on Twitter more..

Controversy surrounds allocation of Pelwehera Farm land

May 8 (CT) State land, which was once common to all govt departments, has become a contentious issue as each department struggles to gain ownership of this once common property. In order to solve this issue, the govt, in 2007, launched the national programme Bim Saviya under the provisions of the Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998. Under this programme, lands are surveyed, demarcated, ensured more..

Et tu, Wimal!

May 8 (CT) Trust Minister Wimal Weerawansa to stand on his high horse and execute that oft repeated idiom 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'. This isn't the first time he's done the over the top grandstanding. A couple of years ago it was a fast-unto-death campaign against what came to be known as the 'Darusman Report' by the panel of experts appointed by the UN Secretary General. This was followed by a crusade for the boycott of US goods and services in order to teach more..

Sirisena reveals corruption in Health Ministry

May 8 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has said that corruption is rampant in the procurement division of his Ministry and some officials attached to it are minting money. When he assumed duties there had been a severe shortage of saline in hospitals and therefore he had been compelled to import saline urgently, Minister said. No health minister before him had been able to build a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, Minister Sirisena said at the State Pharmaceutical more..

SL, best place to be a mother in South Asia

May 8 (DM) Sri Lanka is the best place to be a mother in South Asia, a latest study released by the Save the Children said. While Pakistan performs the worst in the region as all neighboring countries score high leaving Pakistan at the bottom-Sri Lanka ranks 89th, Nepal 116th, Bangladesh 130th and India 137th. Save the Children's annual State of World's Mothers Report 2014, now in its fifteenth edition, compares 178 countries more..

Sri Lankan rupee gains to over 6-month high after state bank reduces bid

May 8 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee ended firmer on Thursday at its highest level in more than six months after a state bank reduced its dollar buying bid as the local currency faced upward pressure in the absence of credit demand and imports. The rupee closed at 130.50/52 per dollar, its highest close since Oct. 24 and firmer from Wednesday's close of 130.60/61. Dealers said one of the two state banks, through which the central bank usually intervenes in the market, stopped buying more..

Hit and run suspect in the US

May 8 (DM) Suspect who fled to Singapore after running over a pregnant woman with his Montero SUV in Pettah, has moved to the United States, SSP Ajith Rohana said. Police had issued a red notice through Interpol for the arrest of the suspect who was a security director of a leading private hospital in Colombo. Suspect had been identified as Nilan Piyarathne, a resident of Kiribathgoda. He fled to Singapore after running over the 5-month pregnant woman at Gunesinghepura more..

UDA focuses on fast evolving Kottawa

May 8 (DM) Plans have been made to develop public conveniences in the Kottawa town, the UDA said. With commuters converging at Kottawa from Pilyandala, Malabe and Pannipitiya, the UDA said that it is essential to develop the town to improve facilities for the public. Deputy Project Director of the UDA Prasad Ranaweera said that the UDA will be utilising 2 acres of a 5-acre plot of land at Kottawa junction to construct a bus station more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.4%

May 8 (LBO) Shares closed 0.37% higher for the second consecutive day with index heavy stocks gaining amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 23.13 points higher at 6,275.73 up 0.37%. The S&P SL20 closed 12.81 points higher at 3,446.76, up 0.37%. Turnover was 935.21 million rupees, down from 1.00 billion rupees a day earlier with 115 stocks close positive against 73 negative. Distilleries closed 20 cents higher at 206.20 rupees with three off market transactions more..

UNP points fingers at Govt

May 8 (CG) UNP today accused Govt politicians of being involved in the abduction of baby elephants. UNP MP P. Harrison says a Govt Deputy Minister had claimed that some 63 baby elephants have been taken from the Habarana jungle. UNP MP said that even the Deputy Minister had questioned wildlife officials about the missing baby elephants as the beasts cannot be transported undetected. “These elephants are not like ants which can be hidden in a pocket and taken,” he said. more..

At election season’s end, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees forgotten again

May 8 (NYT) As Tamil civilians were increasingly caught in the crossfire between the IPKF and the LTTE in the 1980s, Sasitharan and his parents followed the exodus from the Tamil-majority northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka. As a 9-year-old in 1990, Mr. Sasitharan, who uses only one name, was taken by his parents across the Palk Strait by boat, the mode of transport favored by thousands of refugees before them. more..

JVP union accuses other nurses unions of betrayal

May 8 (Island) Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) and Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) had betrayed the nurses’ struggle, pro-JVP All Ceylon Nursing Officers Association (ACNOA) alleged. ACNOA General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe claimed that leaders of the PSUNU and GNOA now could not go to their respective hospitals due to the opposition from their members following the ‘grand betrayal’. He said that they had started the strike demanding more..

Ganeshan expouses importance of Sinhala Buddhist vote

May 8 (Island) Leader of DPF Mano Ganeshan said that he was convinced that the Sinhala Buddhist vote was necessary to defeat the UPFA govt at a future Parliamentary or Presidential Election. He said that all opposition parties should come together under a common platform and not run away from supporting a common opposition candidate whoever he/she might. He said that parties like the UNP, TNA, DPF, DP and others must get together to achieve that task. more..

Much postponed Indo-Lanka fisheries talks on Monday

May 8 (Island) The twice-postponed second round of the Indo-Sri Lanka talks on the issue of poaching would be held next Monday in Colombo, Fisheries Ministry announced. The discussions will be held between the Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen associations though the Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne expected ministerial level discussions to precede them. Dr. Senaratne, however, said that govt-level discussion more..

Sri Lanka says US clear LTTE still active

May 8 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt says the United States has through a recent report made clear that the LTTE is still active and obtains funds through some diaspora organisations. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the recent US State Department report on terrorist organisations shows that the LTTE is still a threat internationally as well as to Sri Lanka. US report said that the LTTE uses its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, more..

SAARC Mayors meet in Kandy on May 8 & 9

May 8 (Island) Mayors of SAARC Countries are meeting in Kandy at a two-day conference on May 8 and 9. The SAARC mayors’ workshop is organised by the World Bank with the topic Managing Urban Transformation. The venue for the workshop is Mahaweli Reach Hotel, Kandy. Mayors of India, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Maldives with some officials have confirmed their participation at the workshop. The inauguration of the workshop takes place at 8.30 a.m. on May 8 in more..

SL asks Canada not to ignore terrorist list

May 8 (PTI) Sri Lanka today appealed to Canada not to ignore its designated terrorist list that includes the LTTE, saying it would be in violation of a UN resolution on counterterrorism. Canada last week said they would ignore SL's terrorist list that included several Canadian residents among the 424 individuals. Sri Lanka in late March designated some 16 organisations and 424 individuals as those who are attempting to more..

Second ODI called off, Sri Lanka win series

May 8 (WI) The second One-Day International between Ireland and Sri Lanka was called off due to a wet outfield after several hours of persistent rain in Dublin today. Richard Kettleborough and Richard Smith, the umpires, along with Chris Broad, the match referee, deemed conditions unfit for play shortly before 2.30pm. A combination of overnight rain and incessant drizzle left the players and spectators frustrated for much of the morning before the final decision was made. more..

Disciplinary action against cops for not carrying side arms

May 8 (Island) In the wake of the abduction of two police constables attached to the Kurunegala police station and killing of one of them in the early hours of Tuesday, Police Headquarters will take disciplinary action against the ASP of the area, HQI and OIC of the police station for poor supervision of subordinates to ensure complying with the IGP’s order to carry side arms while on duty. Asked why the police personnel deployed on traffic duty at night had not been armed on that day more..

Ex-Inland Revenue Dy Commissioner sentenced in VAT fraud case

May 8 (AD) Colombo High Court today imposed a 102-year suspended jail term to be served for 3 years and a Rs 12 billion fine on the former Deputy Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department, who was found guilty in a massive VAT fraud case. High Court Judge Kumuduni Wickremasinghe imposed this sentence on the former Inland Revenue Officer, Gunasiri de Soyza Jayatillake, who pleaded guilty to more..

News agencies shouldn’t be punished for doing their job-US

May 8 (DM) The United States does not punish its news organizations for doing their job and we wish that the Sri Lankan Govt to do the same, US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Doug Frantz said today. At an event held at the American Center via digital video conferencing, to mark World Press Freedom Day, Mr. Frantz highlighted the manner in which the US Government reacted to the media coverage on highly confidential files leaked by Edward Snowden. more..

'Accepted Saman's resignation to ensure Lakbima's survival'

May 8 (SM) Accepting Saman Wagaarachchi's resgination was a decision taken to ensure the survival of the Newspaper, owner of Sumathi Newspapers - MP Thilanga Sumathipala says. Connecting with the 'Derana Arana' this morning via telephone, Sumathipala also implied that it was a decision taken with the best interests of the Editor and staff at heart. Noting that Wagaarachchi has handed over the resignation, Sumathipala said that the Lakbima authorities have accepted it. more..

Govt remains firm on PSC

May 8 (CG) Govt says its position on the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the National issue still remains and is unlikely to change despite the boycott by the TNA. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the govt has been consistent with its position that only Parliament can make take the final decision on the solution to the National issue. He said that foreign govts, including India, have also urged the TNA to join the PSC to more..

UN estimates US$ 15 million for probe on SL

May 8 (DN) UNHRC has estimated a cost of US$ 15 million for international inquiries on alleged human rights violations during final phase of the war in SriLanka. Reports said that a special meeting was held at the UN headquarters recently to collect Rs.200 million for investigations. So far, Canada, US, and England have agreed to provide a specific amount to fund the investigations and had also pledged to collect rest of them. Meanwhile, UNHRC is to make a final decision on conducting more..

Police to arrest protesting undergrads

May 8 (SM) Police says that undergraduates who took part in protest demonstrations within Colombo city limits, even defying court orders will be arrested. Police aim to arrest a group of undergraduates who held a protest demonstration outside the President's official house, Temple Trees, yesterday. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the police are currently inspecting the video footage of the protest march. Police are currently inspecting the video footage of the protest march. more..

ICRC Sri Lanka to expand assistance

May 8 (CG) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is to expand its assistance to rehabilitated LTTE cadres who have been released back into society. Speaking to the Colombo Gazette as the ICRC celebrated World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day today, the head of delegation of the ICRC in Sri Lanka, Cherine Pollini said that the ICRC is to expand assistance to rehabilitees living in the Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar districts. more..

Re-building mutual confidence, not re-planting mutual mistrust

May 9 (SL) By declaring that a South Africa-type Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), if at all, would be the ‘last component’ in (any) dialogue, TNA’s R Sampanthan may have put the peace ball back in the Govt’s court even before the political process was set in motion. In doing so, he may have given the Govt a rope to climb up the peace path – or get tied up again in knots as the UNHRC-driven Geneva processes have done already. TNA’s position seems to have taken into more..

On unlawful arrest & deportation of the British tourist

May 9 (CT) Ms. Naomi Michelle Coleman, a British Tourist with wide travel experience in many Buddhist Countries who had a large tattoo of the Buddha and of a Hindu God on a lotus flower on her right arm, arrived in Sri Lanka on 21st April 2014. She passed through immigration counters and came out of the Airport to the arrivals lounge and came out of the main arrival building. She responded to the media before being deported and disclosed what happened to her at the time of arrest: more..

St. Mary's College, Trincomalee - 150th anniversary

May 9 (SO) The 150th jubilee celebrations of St. Mary's College in Trincomalee fell on April 4. It was indeed a strange coincidence for a school to be set up when such a proposal was, perhaps, not even thought of at the time, let alone a dream. Strange as it may, the then Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev. Dr. Semaria, had a vision or a dream of establishing a school in Trincomalee. But God works in strange ways. more..

DBS Jeyaraj and the bogey of the reincarnation of the Tiger: Part 2

May 9 (CT) This is the second part of the op-ed entitled “D.B.S. Jeyaraj and the bogey of the reincarnation of the Tiger”. I have undertaken my own investigation about the information (or misinformation) repeatedly churned out by DBSJ in the Daily Mirror in the past six weeks. In the case of the alleged gunshot fired at police officers in or around the house of Jeyakumari in Tharmapuram, Kilinochchi, to date the authorities have not revealed the name/s of the police personnel more..

Sri Lanka’s Buddhist standards

May 9 (SL) Every time we pass the Kanatte roundabout under the spreading Banyan tree, our eyes go to the four white boards placed around It: Metta (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Muditha (sharing one’s own joy as well as of other’s too) and Upeksa (equanimity – learning to accept loss and gain). These are four basic principles in Buddhism and said to represent the core of Buddha’s teaching. The traffic going around it certainly does not exhibit loving kindness, more..

The consummate ‘Boru Show’ of May

May 9 (NS) International Workers’ Day, or May Day, as it is known the world over, has long been held as the day where workers of the world’s working classes are celebrated and their sacrifices commemorated. It is also a day that is used by the working masses throughout the globe to agitate and make their demands heard by those in power. In Sri Lanka, however, at least from this writer’s experience, ‘May Day’ seems more a more..